Summer Camps Are Back

On July 6, the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center opened a very limited number of on-campus camps, complete with social distancing, temperature checks and masks. The camps have been an amazing way for kids to continue their creative pursuits. Students who were unable to attend on campus were still able to take advantage of […]

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The Straz Center’s Arts Legacy REMIX Was a Long Time in the Making and Looks Like It’s Here to Stay.

What started as a conversation about celebration the Tampa area’s rich artistic heritage turned into a free concert series drawing unexpectedly large crowds. After a brutal warrior’s stint in Vietnam that gave him an ultimatum to become brutal himself or take a higher calling, Fred chose love. A longtime jazz musician who’d played with Aretha […]

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Straz Salutes: an organizational mission to make sure our military and veteran communities know they have a place at The Straz.

We’ve always had a soft spot for military, veterans and their families, which is why we’ve offered discounted tickets for our armed forces guests for years. Since 9/11, the country as a whole has seen more wounded warriors return home with visible and invisible injuries sustained in the line of duty. Since we regard our […]

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Straz Arts Education Program, Broadway Buddies Unites Kids from Different Learning Backgrounds

A little bit exchange program, a little bit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a little bit theater boot camp and a lot of laughs – that describes the remarkable new program launched by Patel Conservatory’s Acting Director of Community Engagement and Education Programs Alice Santana and theater instructor Matt Belopavlovich. Inspired by Hillsborough County Schools’ PEERS program, […]

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Patel Student Spotlight: Mateo Valdes

Eleven-year-old music student Mateo Valdes’ violin journey at the Patel Conservatory. Patel Conservatory violin student Mateo Valdes has a very deep and wise gaze under a flop of shaggy, dark bangs. He doesn’t make eye contact much, but when he does, he seems to possess a kind of old-soul way of knowing that belies his […]

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This Is What It Looks Like to Change a Child’s Life

On the far side of the indoor basketball court, a line of wobbly-kneed elementary school kids stomps through a sequence of shuffle-step, shuffle-step with their dance teacher clapping time. Their shiny, tiny tap shoes clobber the gymnasium with sounds, their faces an endearing mix of intense concentration and unadulterated joy. Out of context, this line […]

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